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HI all: I'm planning to change brake pads on the bike, currently with over 23000 miles on it. The manual suggest to change the brake fluid also with brake pads. Will somebody give good reasons for all this trouble for something so simple?? Also, which brake pads did you go with and why ?? I' m thinking ceramic pads so I don't have to hear that annoying squeak again.
Thanks and ride safe. :D
 

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Just fyi on the ceramic: i put some ceramic pads on my wife's Miata and they make a LOT of dust!
 

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There's different types of brake pads out there (see below for trivial info), and depending on who you ask, they'll tell you that THIER type is the "best" or even the "ONLY" type you should use. You'll die if you don't use the right type!!! It's the great OIL debate writ large.
IMHO, since the Vulcan isn't exactly what you would call a performance motorcycle (otherwise you'd need more and bigger pads) you can use pretty much any type you want. Heck, you might even consider OEM replacements...:D
Even with those *&#$% spoked rims I haven't had much in the way of brake dust with my OEM padded brakes, so that's a non-issue with me. If you've got 23K on your brakes, and your rotor is still in good shape, I'm not going to lie awake tonight worrying about premature rotor failure with the OEM pads either.

Your brake fluid might be a different matter. If it's still clear, you MIGHT be OK, otherwise contaminants are getting into the system from somewhere, and flushing will be required. Moisture and other contaminants DO get into the brake fluid, and they can cause all manner of corrosion and other problems. Usually, your brake fluid will turn from a clear amber to a coffee color to let you know something's up. The good news is that the VN does not have ABS. OK....maybe that's not GOOD news, but the brake system is pretty simple and probably fairly robust. You're not going to wreck the brakes if you skip the fluid flush, but it's easy to do, and you're ALREADY working on the brakes anyway. DOT-4 is cheap. Reworking your brakes isn't. That’s your call. :cool:

Semi Metallic Brake PadsThese types of brake pads are made from about 30% to 65% metal, and are commonly made out of steel wool, wire, copper or other metal materials. These types of brake pads are considered to be very durable, but also may wear brake rotors faster. Also, semi-metallic brake pads may not function well in very low temperatures.

Non-Asbestos OrganicThis type of brake pad, commonly referred to as NAO, is made from organic materials such as fiber, glass, rubber and even Kevlar. These types of t pads are usually softer and don't create much noise, but they tend to wear faster and create a lot of dust.

Low-Metallic NAOThese are made primarily from an organic formula mixture with small amounts of copper or steel added to help with heat transfer and provide better braking. Because of the added metal, there is usually a considerable amount of brake dust and these pads are often noisy.

Ceramic Brake PadsCeramic brake pads are composed primarily of ceramic fibers and other filler materials. While ceramic brake pads are usually more expensive than other types of pads, they are cleaner and produce much lower noise levels. Also, they provide for excellent braking and don't cause a lot of wear on the brake rotors
 

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OEM's are the longest lasting, cheapest, bestest option really. If not from your local dealer order them from Ron Ayers or Cheap Cycle Parts. Ceramics don't last as long and seems like there is another option that eats rotors WHICH aren't cheap.

The Brake Fluid, like any other oil, breaks down over time. You can order a cheap back flusher OR borrow one from the local car parts dealer probably. flush the fluid out, change the pads (that part only takes 10 minutes. Some say spin the wheel and touch them up with some fine grit sandpaper (600 I believe) This will help set the new pads but I just put the new pads on and operated them some while applying power. Well anyways, they ran all season.

BEWARE ebay purchasing. There are people out there selling brake pads that DO fit the 900. Seems there are other bikes that use the same pad. BUT look carefully in the add, though not mentioned you might just see in the picture the pads are marked RACE ONLY not for use on surface streets.

These suckers may fit, but they are designed to be used with a different braking system where you get the brakes warm and do the do. Then toss the pads after a race and put on a new pair. NOT what you want or do with the 900. When not heated up they don't stop for snot. That's what I've been told, I haven't tried it on my own bike though I had to have the stupid pads in my hand before I noticed they said Race Only on them.

Live and learn, Buyer Beware.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for the replies, I' ll keep looking around until decide.
Oem pads made a lot of noise for long time, but can't complaint about stopping power. I still don't know what to do about the brake fluid. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks again.
 

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Replace the fluid, it's easy enough, cheap and will help keep your system clean. I know it doesn't look as dirty as your motor oil BUT it IS oil and will degrade and become nasty stuff after enough time.
 

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Course I've never replaced the oil in my cars but I've never had one of them more than 5 or 6 years. Wait, the one I did have for 6 years I had the brakes bled twice at least. That sucker warped rotors constantly.
 

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If the 900 was a crotch rocket then I would go with the best performing pads available regardless of cost and longevity. Since it is not And you a satisfied with the brake I'd put OEM back on it. Just my 2 cents
 

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My Subaru calls for brake fluid flush and replace every 60K. The service rep said that unlike drum brake cylinders, calipers can get quite hot, and the heat degrades the fluid. Also, the fluid doesn't cirulate, so the fluid that's in the caliper ages through repeated heating.

My standard practice when replacing brake pads is to open the bleed screw when I collapse the caliper piston completely so the internal fluid spills, rather than pushing back into the lines and cylinder. I then top off the master cylinder. In this way, new fluid gets into the caliper cylinder every pad change, and the fluid in the master cylinder cycles on through the calipers and out.
 

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Thanks all for the replies, I' ll keep looking around until decide.
Oem pads made a lot of noise for long time, but can't complaint about stopping power. I still don't know what to do about the brake fluid. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks again.
Clean the rotors with a light sanding to remove the pad material. Take your new OEM pads and file the leading edges at a 45 degree angle. Your brake noise will be long gone.
 

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My 2 cents never use ceramic pads. You can but they tend to make groves in the rotors. I use the softest pads I can find so the rotors don't get grooved and they last much longer. Ceramic pads are very hard and last longer. I rather change my pads more than have to replace my rotors. Again this is my opinion and what I found works best for me. Plus ceramic squeak some.

~R~
 

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HI all: I'm planning to change brake pads on the bike, currently with over 23000 miles on it. The manual suggest to change the brake fluid also with brake pads. Will somebody give good reasons for all this trouble for something so simple?? Also, which brake pads did you go with and why ?? I' m thinking ceramic pads so I don't have to hear that annoying squeak again.
Thanks and ride safe. :D
My bike has just over 10,000 on her and in the Spring I am going to change the front brake pads and flush the brake system. When I had her PA safety inspected last month she only had 4/32s brake pad left (2/32s is min). Why flush the system? Because brake fluid absorbs moisture and moisture in the system lowers the boiling point of the fluid. With enough moisture in the system the water will boil and cause the brakes to lock on which is never good.
 

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My bike has just over 10,000 on her and in the Spring I am going to change the front brake pads and flush the brake system. When I had her PA safety inspected last month she only had 4/32s brake pad left (2/32s is min). Why flush the system? Because brake fluid absorbs moisture and moisture in the system lowers the boiling point of the fluid. With enough moisture in the system the water will boil and cause the brakes to lock on which is never good.
Great info here. I have 17k miles on my bike and breaks still look really good. When it comes time to change them I'll also do the fluid. Thanks for the information.

~R~
 

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I went back with factory

My rear pads lasted about 36,000 miles before I thought they were too thin. According to the manual, they can get down to 1mm, which is really thin. I replaced mine when the center pad split went away(shortly after). I also bought new pads from the dealer but they were not OEM but EBC replacement pads. I looked at the amount of pad thickness and it was only half as think as the factory pads. I went on Cheapcycleparts.com and ordered the factory pads for not much more than the EBC but they were twice as think. I have 44,000 miles on the front pads and they are still good. The EBC pads are about $36 and the factory ones $48, so ? Hope this helps if you haven't replaced them already.
 
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